Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Snood??

Yesterday, as I was holding a little piece of netting, Sunshine approached me wondering what I was doing with it.

"I think it would make a cute jellyfish craft. We can add ribbon and other decorations."
"Oh no, Mommy. This would make a great snood."
"A what?"
"A snood." She then grabs it out of my hand and proceeds to put it on her head.
"What is a snood?"
"Women wore them on their heads in the 1950's."
"Oh, hmm, you learn something new everyday."
Next, Peanut walks in, so I ask her.
"Do you know what a snood is?"
"Oh yeah- In the 1950's, woman wore them."

There you have it. My six and eight year old kids have a better vocabulary than their Mom who happens to have a teaching degree!

I think they said they learned it from Word Girl on PBS. So of course I had to research it online and sure enough- it is what they said it is, although most sites I read said the 40's- maybe they were worn in the 50's as well. 

So, am I the only one who never heard of a snood?

Enjoy your weekend!


ps.  Don't forget to enter my giveaway- Wii -Jumpstart Get Moving Family Fitness!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Meet Pezzettino!

It's exciting for us to find a book we've never read from an author that we admire.  At our most recent library visit, we came across Pezzettino by Leo Lionni.  What attracted me to the book was the title and the bright colors on the cover page. 

Little Pezzettino is so small he is convinced he must be a piece of somebody else. A wise man helps him discover the truth.

We enjoyed this unique story and how the characters are colorful shapes rather than animals or people.  It has such a beautiful lesson about self-acceptance. 

Creative Thinking Activity/Craft
After reading Pezzettino, give your child a handful of colorful squares.  You can use construction paper or colored foam. I cut out small foam squares.  Next, have your child make different figures with the squares.  How many unique objects/pictures can they make?  Encourage your child to creative a variety of pictures before gluing final project. (creative thinking skill- fluency) 

Next, have them choose one or more to create a picture.  Glue squares together on page.  Peanut made a giraffe and a heart with her squares and Sunshine made a letter, a heart, and Pezzettino.  Fun and easy craft to organize after reading the story!

Happy Reading and Creating,


Giveaway Scout

Many Mommy bloggers have been fortunate to test and share products relating to our blogs.  Recently, I was contacted by Giveaway Scout and given the opportunity to submit my own blog.  Giveaway Scout is also a great place to find giveaways if you like to enter them.  I've been pretty lucky and have won many blog giveaways such as educational toys, art supplies, books, and more! 

Giveaway Scout - All blog giveaways, contests and sweepstakes in one place brings you the latest giveaway promotions with products ranging from coupons and samples to high value jewelry and electronics. Giveaways have become extremely popular in recent years and thousands of blogs offer them on a regular basis. Giveaway Scout scans a large number of giveaway blogs and updates every hour with the latest offers.

To learn more or to submit your blog, visit- Giveaway Scout.

Enjoy your day!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wii JumpStart Get Moving Family Fitness Review and Giveaway

This past Christmas, my girls received a Nintendo Wii game system from Santa and boy were they thrilled as can be.  Trying out different games together during family time has been a blast.  I was even playing it on Christmas Day - remember this was my due date.  My husband had a lot of fun laughing at his pregnant wife trying to play Wii. Well, this is what Wii games should be all about- being together and having fun as a family.

Jumpstart Get Moving Family Fitness WiiRecently, JumpStart released it's third Nintendo Wii game: JumpStart® Get Moving™ Family Fitness. Here is a detailed description of JumpStart's newest game: 
Get Moving Family Fitness: Sports Edition Featuring Brooke Burke gets the family active with more than 15 sports challenges, including basketball and speed skating, in 11 exotic arenas, such as the moon, a dinosaur jungle or a volcano. Players can design their own characters to race and play, keep track of personal best calories burned, engage in routines for an extra challenge and compete head-to-head or play solo. The game can be played utilizing the Wii Balance Board™ or simply with the Wii Remote™ and nunchuk.
My little product testers, ages 6 and 8, enjoyed their experiences with this new game.  Speed skating was their top pic from all of the 15 sports challenges, followed by volleyball and basketball. They claim that it helps their muscles and arms feel more flexible. Too cute- my little fitness gurus.

Sunshine said she thought this arena was funny because the cows would moo at her as they were playing. It's good to see my 8 year old being playful instead of trying to grow up so fast!

Compared to other Wii games that we have played, my husband and I think that JumpStart® Get Moving™  has a lot of variety  and is appropriate for younger children. (designed for ages 4 and up) We limit our children's time on video games, but like the idea of having a game that encourages movement for indoor play.  This would also be a great indoor activity when the weather isn't cooperating outdoors or for family game night.

 Favorite Features:
*creating their own character
*choosing different backgrounds- thumbs up to the Egyptian and the Underwater Background

 My 8 year old did mention that she doesn't like the fact that you need the Wii balance board for some of the games. Obviously, we don't have a Wii balance board, so we weren't able to play a couple of the games.  Some of the movements can be challenging at first, which causes a bit of frustration for young ones, but once they stuck with it, they were able to figure it out better than Mom! 

Overall, my family was pleased with the product and will continue to play and "get moving" together.

Do you have a Wii game system at home?  How would you like your own copy of  JumpStart® Get Moving™ Family Fitness?

**To Purchase-

**To WIN JumpStarts Newest Wii Game-
Visit JumpStart's Website- which game do you think your kid's would enjoy? Leave a comment.  Don't forget your contact information just in case you are my lucky winner. (blog or email address) 

For extra entries:
Blog about Giveaway (2)
Follow Me (1)
Blog Roll (1)
Tweet or share on Facebook(1)

(Giveway ends 8/12/2010- 12:00 EST time)

*For even more chances to win and to read another review, visit my friend Chels at Fantastic Find! I also liked this detailed review on Common Sense Media- if interested.

Have fun playing with your kids!


ps.  In the mood for a good laugh? Take a peek at me playing Wii on my due date.  Go ahead and make fun of me, I'm a good sport.  :)

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of JumpStart® Get Moving™ Family Fitness at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

I am an affiliate for Amazon,therefore receive compensation if a product is purchased through an affiliate link. Numbers
Pick numbers beetween and . Distinct:
Draw stat: sum=11, avg=11.00
Draw date: 2010-08-13 13:24:01

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sweet Art Work!

Mom, can I make a T-shirt with bubble paint? 
Wow! Nice job, Sunshine. :)

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

For More WW, visit 5 Minutes for Mom and Mom of 3 Girls.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Baby Times! 14th Edition: Featuring Great Blogs

For today's Baby Times, I'm featuring a few blogs that often share great ideas to help enrich your baby's development. I hope that you'll enjoy them as much as I do and get a few new ideas for your little one!

Teach PreschoolTeach Preschool
Deborah has been a professional in the early childhood field for over 20 years.  Her website,Teach Preschool, promotes excellence in early childhood educations. 

One of her recent blog posts for baby-
At Play With Baby: Up and Down

Vanessa promotes literacy over at her blog, Silly Eagle Books, as she shares her reading adventures with her own child.  Her site is a wonderful resource for all ages, including babies.

One of her recent blog posts for baby-

Nicole is a former educator taking a break from her teaching career to raise her children.   Her passion for teaching has spilled over into her home. The Activity Mom shares wonderful hands-on learning activities for both babies and children.

One of her recent blog posts for baby-

What online resources do you enjoy reading that benefit your baby?

Enjoy your day,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

Home Sweet Home! or is it?  I think it's hard to come back from the beautiful mountains, hearing the birds in the morning and the crickets at night and a weekend with no worries- to my messy home and bills and worries, etc.  Oh well, home is where your loved ones are, right?  And it's important to be content where ever we are, so I'll quite moaning and be happy about being back.  :)

Well, here are a few highlights of our trip:

Little Man loved swimming in the lake and playing in the wet sand.  I could not believe that he didn't put it in his mouth.  He had the best time sitting in a little pool of water and playing.  Awesome sensory experience for him! 

Peanut had a blast swimming underwater in the lake.  She learned how to swim this year, so she was just thrilled.  We had fun building a sand castle together.  Also, she loves cards and kept asking me to play Go Fish all weekend.  I taught her how to play Uno as well.  A new favorite.

Sunshine- excited to find a new insect- a leaf hopper.  She named it Emily and wanted to bring her home, but we persuaded her to keep her in her habitat and that she would be happiest there. She also had fun on a new disk swing we attached to a tree outside our camp. 

Mom and Dad- had a little fun dancing in the kitchen and just being silly with the kids!

I'd post pics, but I can't find my camera's battery charger. (driving me batty not having my camera!) Need to get photos developed from my throw away camera and then I'll post. 

Overall- wonderful weekend. A few bug bites and no campfire due to rain, but good food and good times!

Enjoy your Monday! 


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My Crew!

My Crew!  Oh, they're getting sooo big!

Peanut- so cute with the missing front tooth
Sunshine- Smiling so hard you can see her neck muscles.
Little Man- just chillin' in the back. 

Happy Wordless Wednesday!
For more WW, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Enjoy your day!
I'll be packing for camp- Yeah, we're going back to the mountains!(without a laptop, so I'll be back to blogging again next week.  Stay tuned for a Wii game review and giveaway!)

Jen :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Baby Times! 13th Edition-A Few of Our Favorite Things...

I'm glad that I held on to a few of my girls' favorite baby toys after they grew out of them, because it is fun seeing little man enjoy them as well!  Here are a few of our favorite things:

Baby Einstein Discover and Play Color Blocks
Baby Einstein Discover and Play Color Blocks
For ages birth and up
Features: different textures on each side, baby einstein picture, color words, easy to hold for baby-soft material

Learning Curve First Keys Teether

Learning Curve First Keys Teether (ours is similar- may be different brand- The First Years, I believe) Little man loves his keys!  He looks at them, grabs the different keys and teethes on them.  A great inexpensive and simple toy to throw in his diaper bag when we are on the run.

K's Kids The Hungry Pelican

K's Kids The Hungry Pelican
For ages 0-36 months
Features: Squeaky cheeks, crinkly wings, and rattles in the feet
Adorable small plush toys for baby to feed the hungry pelican
over and over again!

Lastly, his absolute favorite toy..............drum roll please................

His itty bitty toes!
Features: designed special by God
Includes ten individual toys
Bendable, may try to put in mouth
Cost: free, but you must take care of with tickles and kisses
Hand wash only

I'd love to hear your baby toy suggestions!  What are your baby's favorite toys?


Disclaimer: Although I am an affiliate for Amazon, I did not receive any compensation for writing about the above toys.  My suggestions are my opinion only and other parents may not agree.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Critical Thinking: Analyzing Media for Kids

As my children watch advertisements on tv, I've noticed how easily influenced they are by the ads.  Especially when my seven year old asked for a SHAM WOW for her birthday!  And  on a more serious note- yesterday when my 6 year old said to me- oh, I like that song, they play it in the Bud Light Commercial.  Really??? Now why would she even see a Bud Light Commercial- maybe watching a late night game show with Dad? Not sure, but boy did that catch me off guard.

One of the activities that my co-worker and I did with our fourth grade students was to teach them propaganda techniques and how to analyze advertisements and commercials.  This morning, I was going through my Publisher Clearing House mailing (keep your fingers crossed for me!) and almost threw my ads in the recycle bin.  But then I thought- these ads would be great to do a critical thinking activities with the girls, so I held on to them.  (Hmmm. Wonder why I have a house of clutter???) 
Take a look at one of the ads-

Fabulous Hairstyles Instantly
Works like magic
Create Amazing Hairstyles
So easy to use!

Wouldn't it be fun to teach the kids about different techniques and then have them point out the technique the advertiser is trying to use to get them to buy the product.  Not only is it fun for kids, it helps them to think critically about he ads that are thrown at them daily. (This is why I adore PBS- no advertisements!!)  I actually started talking to my kids about this at an early age when they were going ga ga over all of the Christmas toy ads. 

So you are asking- what are these secret techniques you  plan on teaching your children? Don't worry, I'm getting to them! Keep in mind that you can point out these different tricks by simplifying the language.  Below are some of the techniques often used in advertisements.

Bandwagon -- the implication that "everybody else is doing it."
All the kids have silly bands, so you need them, too!

Plain folks -- the implication that "users of this product are just like you."
Family sitting at table eating Mac and Cheese or a Mom in sweats throwing a load in the laundry.

Card stacking -- distorting or omitting facts.
Fluffy cakes are low in fat. (they don't tell you that the amount of sugar in them is outrageous or about the chemicals in them, etc.)

Glittering generalities -- using "good" labels, such as patriotic, beautiful, exciting, that are unsupported by facts. (above example- fabulous hairstyles instantly)

Testimonial-- an endorsement by a famous person.
Tiger Woods and Nike

Snob appeal -- the implication that only the richest, smartest, or most important people are doing it.
Buy Pristine Perfume if you want to stand out in a crowd.

Transference -- The commercial is intended to make viewers feel certain emotions, such as happiness, sadness, or excitement. The viewers may transfer their feeling to the product.
Tween girls at a slunber party laughing and having a great time as they use the product.

Repetition- - repeating the same word(s) over and over in an ad
Buy frosty pops today. Frosty pops are the best.  Buy your frosty pops today!

Explore Food Marketing with this fun game!
Co Co's Adversmarts- Get your kids creativity flowing as they make their own advertisement for Co Co Cereal.  As they make different choices, the game explains the tactics used to market the product.

This game for ages 5-8 explores the following marketing tactics:
Theme and Setting

PBS Kids- Don't Buy It: Awesome resource with information on advertising tricks and buying smart. Made especially for kids, it includes games and activities to help kids think critically about media!

Includes activities such as be an Ad Detective and Create a Magazine Ad.

Enjoy your day with your Creative and Curious Kids!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ice Cream Math and More...

In honor of National Ice Cream Month, we had to go out and celebrate with a big ice cream sundae- YUM! Then we came up with the idea to collect data about favorite ice cream flavors. We posted our project on Facebook and asked for people to tell us which flavor they like the best out of the following: chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. The response was awesome!
As the comments came rolling in throughout the day today, my girls tallied the results. Next, we found a great website where we typed in our data: Create a Graph.

We made a pie chart and a bar graph and discussed the graphs. Chocolate had the most votes, with vanilla second, and strawberry last. The girls may make their own pictograph chart tomorrow. We are hoping for more results to add to what we've collected thus far. Facebook was a great way to collect data from family and friends for this easy math project.

Other Ice Cream Themed Resources:
DLTK- Ice Cream Activities/Crafts Ice Cream Activities/Crafts
Make Patterns with Ice Cream
Ice Cream Logic Problem
Cone Crazy- Online Math Game- Multiplication

And just for fun and to encourage creativity, of course- have your kids create a brand "new" flavor of ice cream. What will they name it? Activity: Make an ad with a picture of their new creation! 

How about an ice cream taste test? Blind fold the kids and have them taste different ice cream flavors.  Using their sense of taste and smell, guess the ice cream flavor. I'd do this activity when ice cream is on sale. :)

What is your absolute favorite flavor of ice cream? I adore chocolate peanut butter! And whoever invented ice cream, I think you're a genius. : ) It brings me great joy.

original designs by JGoode at
Happy National Ice Cream Eating Month!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Meet Sparkles Vaun Yum Yum

Sparkles Vaun Yum Yum presides in a pink mansion
with a pink wheel and of course
a small pink hideaway!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!
For more W.W., be sure to visit 5 Minutes for Mom. Also, link up your WW below.

Jen :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Baby Times! 12th Edition: Sensory Activities

Today I took the baby outside not only to see nature around him, to hear the sounds of the birds chirping, but also for him to feel nature.  Little man had the biggest smile on his face as he sat in the grass.  He kicked his legs and kept feeling the long blades of grass with his toes.  We talked about the green grass.  I love giving him the opportunity to explore outdoors, but also to have the opportunity to feel different textures.  Indoors today, I gave him different pieces of clothing to feel- silk, tulle, etc.  He loves rubbing the silky fabric on his cheek or learning about them by putting them in his mouth.  He also loves to scratch different textures and listen to the sounds.
Another sensory activity that Little Man enjoys are Touch & Feel Cards.  They are made for 2 years old and up (and he's only 6 months), so I just need to be careful that he doesn't poke himself in the eye with the cards when he is handling them. I show him the pictures and talk about them with him. They have sparkly numbers on them and fun pictures of animals with different textures.
Water play is a huge hit with him as well.  He loves to splash in a large bowl of water and absolutely soak Momma!

Why do I think it's important to give my 6 month old these opportunities?

1. To learn about the world around him.
2. To give him sensory experiences that will enrich his overall development.

Activity Mom posts a lot of great sensory activities for babies.  Recently, I was inspired to try the following activities:

Other helpful resources:
Learn more about sensory development and how to make a material book. 
Do you have any great sensory activities that you've been doing with your baby? Please feel free to comment and share your ideas!

Visit past editions of The Baby Times! 

Take Care!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to Delicious Ambiguity (who so thoughtfully gave me this award ages ago and I'm FINALLY posting it) and to Butterfly Wishes and Wonderland Dreams who recently gave me the same award.  Coming from such AWESOME bloggers, I'm flattered!

1. Thanks the person who gave you the award!  Thank you, Thank you!!
2.  Share 7 things about you!
3.  Pass the award to 15 bloggers you've recently discovered and think are FABULOUS!

7 Things about Jen
1.  Married the first man I ever kissed!  Isn't he cute? (and he does dishes) He was a keeper for sure!

I'm actually laughing here-
 not trying to bite his cheek! 
2.  My third baby was due on Christmas Day.  He decided to come three days after though, so Mommy didn't have to miss any festivities with family and friends.

Has it really been six months- wow!
Little man is growing up.

3.  Thinking about cyberschooling my girls in the fall- 3rd grade for sunshine and 1st grade for Peanut.  I cyberschooled sunshine for 1st grade and loved it even though life was just a bit cRaZy! 

4. Love Christian music- favorite artist- Sarah Groves.

Tell Me What You Know

5. Traveled to Spain when I was 18 by myself to work and then traveled to Japan when I was 23.  Awesome experiences- feel blessed to have the opportunity to see other corners of the world. 

6. I'm very disorganized!  Sometimes I can't find my house and or anything in it for that matter. 

7.  Taught gifted and enrichment for 8 years.  Loved being creative and coming up with ideas to challenge my students!

Now for the award ceremony- drum roll please! 
  1. Brown Paper Packages
  2. Forskoleburken
  3. Oopsey Daisy
  4. Teach Mama
  5. Seven-Thirty-Three
  6. Teach Preschool
  7. Imagination Soup
  8. Playing by the book
  9. Letter Soup http://lettersoupblog.blogs
  10. Recipes from the Cookie Jar
  11. Quirky momma
  12. Go Explore Nature
  13. A Little Tipsy
  14. Let's Play Math
  15. Child's Play
Congrats to the above recipients!  When I get a moment from parenting my Creative and Curious kiddos, I'll be exploring your blogs.

Have a great day!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Martha Speaks Read Aloud Book Club

Martha speaks, Yeah she speaks, and she speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks.....

We love Martha in our household!  Before the show came out on PBS Kids, I truly enjoyed reading the first Martha book that shares how Martha the dog ate alphabet soup and became a non-stop talking dog. 

Therefore, my girls and I were pretty excited to find resources for a Martha Speaks Read-Aloud Book Club. These resources include weekly book suggestions, questions, activities, and book lists. We are going to start our very own family book club today.

The book club has the Martha theme and includes EVERYTHING DOG!  I have a lot of fun dog books to read to the girls (and little man) including the following:

When the Fly Flew In
by Lisa Westburg Peters
When the Fly Flew In . . .
What happens when a fly crosses path with this sleeping dog?

Wet Dog by Elise Broach
Wet Dog!
Poor Wet Dog- no one wants him around!  Until.....

If you decided to participate in the Martha Speaks Read- Aloud Book Club, let me know. To get started, just click on the link above. It looks like it is designed for a larger group of kids than just my two children, but I thought they'd still benefit from it if we do it as a family. I'd love to hear about your experiences with your children! 

For books about dogs- click here for an awesome book list!

Happy Summer Reading!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Carousel

My absolute favorite ride at amusement parks- The Carousel! 

There is something magical about...

the beautiful horses
the lights
the music

What's even more magical is watching your children love it just the same!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Be sure to stop by 5 Minutes for Mom for more W.W!


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